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Sulla's Infamous Associates

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Chapter Summary

According to Cicero, Lucius Cornelius Sulla could not have known about the fraudulent behaviour of his protégé because of his many duties. Catulus, Lucullus and Pompey were all close associates of Sulla, and it is likely that they profited, personally and through their freedmen, from the sales that followed the first proscription. The evidence shows that the social promotion of some freedmen was part of a complex political operation carried out by Sulla after his victory. The Civil War had to be followed by a process of political 'normalisation' throughout Italy. Sulla needed to prevent the possibility of the emergence of a new opposition for many years to come. The proscriptions ensured this aim by affecting the legal status of a number of members of the Roman elite, and by transferring their property under the direct control of Sulla and his associates.

Keywords: Civil War; Italy; Lucius Cornelius Sulla; political operation; Roman elite; social promotion



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